Resident, local historian, and past-president of the Innisfil Historical Society, William Kell was honoured by the Museum on the Boyne in a Wall of Honour ceremony in the Town of New Tecumseth. They recognized Kell's contribution to heritage in South Simcoe County on Saturday, September 23, 2023.
William Kell was born in Innisfil in 1933 during the Great Depression, but his roots in the town run even deeper than that, as his grandmother settled in Innisfil in 1840, while the Kells arrived in the 1850s.
A graduate of the Lefroy Continuation School in 1949, which was the only secondary school in town at the time, Kell had to complete grade 13 at Bradford High School before earning his degree in animal science at Guelph Agricultural College in 1955. His career included working as a high school supply teacher and with the agricultural department.
In addition to his involvement in the Innisfil Historical Society, Kell has served on the Provincial Board of the Ontario Federation of Agricultural, Innisfil’s SS #4 School Board, the Innisfil Planning Board and the Nottawasaga Futures Board. He was President of the Simcoe County Federation of Agriculture and Chair of the Innisfil Heritage Committee.
If that wasn’t enough, Kell helped write five books for the Innisfil Historical Society, which he described as a “major endeavour.”
When asked why he pursued so many appointments, projects, and endeavours, he said, “Everyone needs something challenging to take their mind off their day-to-day work.”
“I guess I don’t know how to say no,” he quipped.
Kell married his wife, home economist Sandra Kay in 1966. He told InnisfilToday that “she made my life beautiful.” They have three sons and one daughter.
Kell became involved with the Innisfil Historical Society 50 years ago when he started driving his parents to meetings. He has an impressive collection of the monthly newsletter the group published.
“The Innisfil Historical Society is thrilled to see Past President Bill Kell named to the Wall of Honour at the Museum on the Boyne,” said Mark Hall, the president of the Innisfil Historical Society.
“Bill is a tireless contributor on behalf of our local history. He has served in many executive positions with Innisfil Historical for many years.”
“More importantly, Bill is a fascinating person to talk with. He has an intimate knowledge of Innisfil people, history and events and is always delighted to share what he knows,” Hall said.
“It is a privilege to be speaking about the many merits and contributions of this 90-year-old man who never ceases to amaze me,” Donna Wice said in a speech about Kell on Sept. 23.